One of the first recipes that caught my eye in the Teddy Bears' Picnic-themed Bake Box was this one for a cute Cherry Tray Bake. (You might also recognise the Mini Lattice Sausage Rolls on the left page of the binder that I shared last week !) The tray bake itself is simple enough to make, but I did wonder how successful recreating the cherry icing decorations would be. I usually go for taste over presentation, so the Bake Box often nudges me just outside of my comfort zone, which is a good thing !
Well, it was actually a piece of cake (or tray bake ?!), thanks to the funky cherry plunger cutter in the Bake Box. It's totally simple to use and I was really pleased with how well they came out.
Cherry Tray Bake
for the cherry decorations :
200g white sugarpaste
Icing sugar, for rolling out
Red and green paste food colourings
for the cake mixture :
Oil, for greasing
225g unsalted butter, diced and softened
225g golden caster sugar
275g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
65g ground almonds
¾tsp baking powder
150g glacé cherries
for the icing:
125ml cold water
125g caster sugar
500g fondant icing sugar
(or I just made a drizzle icing with regular icing sugar and lemon juice)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas 4. Grease a 30.5 x 20.5cm (12 x 8in) traybake pan and line the base with baking parchment.
Cream together the butter and sugar. I love the pale yellow colour that the golden caster sugar gives it.
Beat in the eggs.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and milk and stir to combine.
Cut the glacé cherries into halves and dust them in a spoonful of flour to prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Stir the cherries into the cake batter. I also poured in the syrup from the bottom of the glacé cherries tub to add extra flavour.
Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top with a palette knife. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking, prepare the cherry decorations. Roll out the sugar paste (using icing sugar, as you would flour with pastry, to stop it sticking) and use the plunger cutter to cut out the cherry designs.
Use a clean paintbrush (or a cotton bud if you haven't got one) to paint the icing with green and red food colouring, then leave to dry for a couple of hours.
Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin. (Don't cut it up yet if using fondant icing - if using drizzle icing, it doesn't matter.)
If making fondant icing, heat the water and sugar in a small pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, without further stirring, then remove the pan from the heat and set the syrup aside. Sieve the fondant icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat in the sugar syrup, a little at a time, to make a thick, coating icing. Tap the bottom of the bowl on the work surface to burst any air bubbles in the icing. Spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake and leave to set for 30 minutes. I just made drizzle icing by mixing enough lemon juice into some regular icing sugar for it to form a runny icing that I spread over the top. Leave to set and cut the cake into squares with a sharp serrated knife.
Top each piece with a cherry decoration - use a palette knife to carefuly prise them off the tray they were drying on and transfer them over.
They're surprisingly simple to make and the kids had great fun joining in. This is Pierre "pretending to be SpongeBob flipping krabby patties" apparently !
They hold together very well so they're perfect for picnics and lunchboxes, or just a mid-morning snack with a cup of tea !
Bake Box delivers a new package of goodies every two months and each box costs £14.99 + £2.99 postage.
for more information : http://the-bake-box.com/
Disclosure : I received a free subscription in order to write an honest review.